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Phoenix Beat NYC, LA in Mortgages to Indians Last Year

According to an early look at 2015 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data, the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale MSA had the most mortgages to Indians last year.

Which part of the U.S. has the most mortgage lending to American Indians? The New York and Los Angeles metropolitan statistical areas would be a logical guess, since they traditionally are among the areas with the most Native Americans. But those expensive markets may have priced most Natives out of homeownership.

According to an early look at 2015 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data, it is the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale MSA, not NYC or LA, that had the most mortgages to Indians last year.

The 322 loans made to American Indians/Alaska Natives in the Phoenix area was nearly four percent of the nearly 8,400 2015 mortgages tabulated as of September 5. Los Angeles came in eighth, with 139 loans. New York was even lower, ranking 17th, with just 88 mortgages.

Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Seattle, Houston Riverside, California and Sacramento are also ahead of Los Angeles in the 2015 rankings.

The data comes from an early look at the 2015 HMDA data in the LendingPatterns tool of ComplianceTech, a fair lending software company that has obtained data from many lenders in advance of the government’s fall release of all lenders. The findings should be taken as provisional, since not all lenders have reported their HMDA data to ComplianceTech. The complete report is scheduled to come out later this month from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.

Another factor that would affect the findings is the fact that for nearly 20 percent of all the Indian mortgages, the MSAs were not disclosed. So it could be that New York or L.A. might finish higher in the rankings if all borrower MSAs were included.

But looking at 2014 for comparison, L.A. ranked seventh, with much-smaller Tulsa outstripping it, with 1,359 mortgages to Indians, 6.9 percent of all Indian loans and more than five times the L.A. MSA volume of 269. New York ranked 15.

Tulsa’s 2014 showing is no doubt because mortgages are much more affordable in the Oklahoma city than in pricey New York or L.A. But Phoenix-Scottsdale-Mesa is a much closer match to them. In 2013 ICTMN found New York, Los Angeles and Phoenix as the cities with the biggest indigenous populations.

Similarly, the Census Bureau found Phoenix with 32,000 Indians as of 2010 had more Natives than Los Angeles (28,000) but was still well behind New York (58,000).

Mortgages made to Native Hawaiians in 2015 so far match expectations, as the Honolulu and Los Angeles markets ranked first and second as of September 5 with more than 1,000 of the 8,200 loans originated for Native Hawaiians (whose category also includes Natives of other American-controlled Pacific islands such as Guam and American Samoa).